Thursday, August 12, 2010

Social Security is NOT in Crisis. What the 2010 Trustees Report Says About It

Social Security is not in crisis and is not bankrupt. According to the annual report authored by the Board of Trustees for Social Security released last week, Social Security will have a surplus of $77 billion by the end of this year. Furthermore, annual surpluses are projected to continue until 2025. That’s the good news. The purpose of this report is to provide a “heads up” to policy makers on the solvency of Social Security. For some time now, the Trustees have stated that reform is needed to ensure full benefits are paid in the future.

After 2025, the Trustees project that the Social Security trust fund will begin to spend down over the span of 12 years and be completely spent by 2037. However, this does not mean that Social Security will be bankrupt because workers will still pay into the system. What this does mean is that if Congress does not act in the next 27 years to shore up additional Social Security revenue, beneficiaries will receive 78% of promised benefits. So, that’s the not -so -good news.

But reform options can be enacted to ensure that benefits remain solvent for future generations, such as raising the Social Security cap on who is taxed to 90% of wages as was done in 1977. Currently, 82% of wages are taxed for Social Security.

Wider Opportunites for Women (WOW) and other national and state organizations call on Congress to act now to strengthen Social Security and address Social Security’s solvency over the long-term. And we are not the only ones: Americans across the country and across party-lines value Social Security and want it to be there for them. According to a National Academy of Social Insurance/Rockefeller poll, 87% of Americans do not mind paying for Social Security because of the security and stability it provides to others.

In celebration of Social Security’s 75th birthday, Wider Opportuities for Women (WOW) created several materials for advocates, including a birthday card to send to Congress. Tell your Representative how important Social Security is to you and your family by mailing them a card.

Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) is blogging throughout the month about the importance of Social Security to an elder's ability to age in place. This is the second blog of the month-long series.

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